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Welcome to  
Public Archaeology 

There's an overwhelming amount of public archaeology information out there. These occasional Public Archaeology Notes make it easier for you to get your hands on some of this great information and share it with others.

Educators, students, and community members worked with archaeologists and volunteers at Vermont's DAR State Park during the Lake Champlain Voyages of Discovery project in 2008. 

Why Read This? 

Public Archaeology Notes assembles information and resources from a variety of sources. Each issue showcases a few of the many organizations, programs, projects, publications, media, social media, and other resources to help archaeologists reach out to networks and communities and help non-archaeologists learn about and participate in our work. Each issue of Notes will use this general template.

Who Are We?

These Notes are a collaborative effort by a consortium of individuals representing an alphabet soup of interested groups: the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the SAA's Public Education Committee (PEC), the PEC's Network of State Coordinators, the SAA's Public Archaeology Interest Group (PAIG), the American Institute of Archaeology (AIA), and others. We are pleased to provide you with this collaborative effort. 
Giovanna Peebles, Notes Editor
Melissa Zabecki Harvey
Giovanna Peebles
Elizabeth Reetz
Maureen Malloy
Robert Connolly
And the amazing, dedicated PEC State Coordinators

Spotlight: Happening Things in the United States and Canada, from Alabama to Yukon

For the last sixteen months, the Society for American Archaeology PEC Network of State Coordinators Facebook (PEC State Coordinators) page has featured a rich sampling of public education highlights for the 50 states and U.S. territories and Canadian provinces and territories. The team started with Alabama in September 2014, with Yukon posted in mid-January 2016. We are singling out the PEC State Coordinators page administrators, Elizabeth Reetz and Melissa Zabecki Harvey, for their extraordinary efforts in providing us with such a wealth of information over months of time. If you've missed this, dive in and see what the other states are doing. If you are not on Facebook now, the PEC State Coordinators page alone makes it worth your while.   

Spotlight: Education, Curricula, and Lesson Plans

Many of you know that Project Archaeology materials align with Grade 3 -5 Common Core State Standards as well as Next Generation Science Standards (Practices). Project Archaeology has a new 6th grade "inquiry-based social studies and science curriculum guide." Investigating Nutrition: The Advent of Agriculture in Mesopotamia (2015) "traces the shift from hunting and gathering to the development of agriculture, using authentic data from two archaeological sites on the Upper Euphrates River: Abu Huyerya and Tel Al -Raqa’i."  Go to Project Archaeology's Teaching Materials page to refresh your memory about the remarkable educational resources that it offers educators across the country.

If you are feeling in need of inspiration, visiting the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center website will get your creative juices flowing. Crow Canyon offers a rich array of archaeological programs for lifelong learners, educators, college students, teens, and younger kids. Educators in your network will get ideas for creating standards-based lesson plans for your own state or locale.

The Society for American Archaeology has a fabulous resource, among many, on its Archaeology for the Public pages: archived issues of the Archaeology and Public Education Newsletter (A&PE Newsletter)! If you are not familiar with that newsletter, produced in hard copy from 1990 - 2004, or if you don't remember it, check it out now. It's a great resource for you, if you spend time as educator, and your education network. Public Archaeology Notes may help fill part of the void that the old A&PE Newsletter left. 

Spotlight: Virtual Museums and On-line Collections

Digital exhibits and collections offer rich tools for teaching archaeology, history, cultures, and other topics. These resources offer a wealth of opportunities for K-12 and post-secondary students to study, analyze, and explore many ideas. They are exceedingly helpful for educators and home-schoolers residing at a distance from museums and hands-on materials. 

The Arizona State Museum's Wall of Pots lets researchers, educators, and the public explore this vast collection of Southwest pottery and includes a downloadable, interactive app. This digital exhibit offers ideas for digitally highlighting even just a few select items.
The University of British Columbia's Museum of Archaeology digital collection is an enviable exploratory window onto 40,000 artifacts. The University has exceeded this vision with its Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) which gathers nearly half a million objects from 26 institutions into a single digital, accessible database. While its name is a bit bland, the RNN website offers 21st century tools for learning, teaching, and inspiration. Maybe your organization wants to be a partner too

Spotlight: Videos

The Archaeology Channel is a rich source of archaeology and anthropology videos and audio recordings. The TAC lists hundreds of videos from across the globe produced by dozens of sponsors and film-makers. It also offers oral histories and story-telling by Native elders and others, information on new media, and other useful resources. If you work with educators and homeschoolers, the TAC should be on your favorites toolbar. One small example of its extensive video resources is the video on the Adena People sponsored by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The American public likes visuals, watching five (5!) hours of television daily. For that reason, among others, the more we can tell stories about archaeology and history through visual media, the more people we can reach. More specifically, Americans love reality TV shows (although some data suggest that reality TV viewers are decreasing). Some of us like to think that archaeology can offer the ultimate in reality TV shows. The Archaeology Channel is sponsoring an important Conference on Cultural Heritage Media in May 2016 and all public archaeologists should consider attending and, better yet, participating. The abstract and symposium deadline is February 29. If you live in the northwestern United States, truly consider attending.


Spotlight: 2015 Archaeology Month/Week 

As you start planning for Archaeology Month (or Week 2016), check out Vermont Archaeology Month's very successful 2015 Archaeology Day at the Montshire Museum.  Nearly 400 visitors spent the day with archaeologists, other scientists, and volunteers exploring various facets of archaeology.
The annual Archaeological Institute of America's International Archaeology Day in October has spawned some great archaeology "days" or "fairs." States that hold their annual archaeology month or week celebration in October generally organize a day or fair on International Archaeology Day.
Do you have an archaeology day or fair program to share with us? What activities do you include? Who are your partners? Who's the audience? Who pays for the programming? How do you evaluate success? 

Spotlight: Community Archaeology Programs 

The Bodo Archaeology Centre, located near Provost in east-central Alberta, Canada, has a variety of programs to engage people of all ages from the first of May through the end of August. The Center is only open by appointment the rest of the year. "The Bodo Archaeological Society (BAS) is a local community-based non-profit organization that operates the Bodo Site & Centre by providing public archaeology opportunities and educational programs through heritage tourism and community engagement efforts. The Bodo Archaeological Site is located in east-central Alberta and is one of the largest and well-preserved archaeological sites on the Northern Plains.....The Bodo Archaeology Centre is located less than two kilometers from the site. It is a one-of-a-kind regional public education facility and interpretive center equipped with classrooms, a working archaeology laboratory, interpretive exhibits, artifact displays, and hands on activity stations." The Centre offers a rich menu of archaeological-based public education programs. 

Spotlight: Teaching with and Using Archaeology Collections 

Many archaeologists know that, wherever appropriate vis a vis Native input, condition, and other variables,  archaeological collections must be used to fully justify the long-term costs of curation. In future issues of Notes, we will be spotlighting a variety of institutions that enthusiastically use archaeological collections to teach.
The New York State Museum uses a reconstructed longhouse, oral histories, and artifacts to teach about a ca. 1600 Iroquois community. A Mohawk Iroquois Village Teacher's Guide offers step-by-step guidance and identifies the state Standards met. 

Spotlight: Free Non-technical On-Line Publications 

Archaeology Southwest (formerly the Desert Research Institute) offers free, downloadable back issues of their magazine, Archaeology Southwest, beginning with the Winter 2010 issue and going back in time.
Whenever possible, we should strive to create digitally accessible, free, publications that present archaeological results, data, and stories. A great example, Lake Champlain: Voyages of Discovery, resulting from an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to the State of Vermont, can serve as one model for similar publications.

Spotlight: Facebook Pages 

Different organizations use FaceBook (FB) for a variety of reasons. Some FB pages focus on events postings - what, where, and when. We think the most successful FB pages are those that post a variety of content to engage as many people as possible, be they members of a group or public pages. The Society for American Archaeology PEC State Coordinators FB page is our personal "go-to" page to see what America's most creative public archaeologists are up to. The page consistently offers a rich assortment of content to inform and inspire PEC State Coordinators, their networks, and other public archaeologists across the planet.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network - Northeast Region FB page, with 1,395 "likes," is another good example of a content-rich FB page with a wide range of content, from advocacy to education, from legislative updates to blog excerpts.
Archaeology in the Community, with 1,577 "likes," is an education non-profit out of Washington D.C. whose mission is to "teach students about how archaeology works and why it's so important." Although some of their content focuses on non-United States projects, this FB page offers some good ideas for State Coordinators.

Spotlight: YouTube 

The Archaeology Channel's (TAC) YouTube channel dominates archaeology videos and it's a very rich resource. The TAC's videos have been curated for quality, which is not the case for all YouTube archaeology videos. Lots of videos are not worth watching. But in the general noise, there are some many excellent archaeology videos.
Does your state have archaeology organizations with YouTube channels? Let us know!

Spotlight: Who's Blogging and What Are They Blogging About? 

Doug's Archaeology blog always has interesting content. Doug Rocks-Macqueen has further done us all a great service by assembling a very long and fascinating list of archaeology blogs. In fact, as of October 2014, Doug listed 425 archaeology-related blogs! Check some of these out for inspiration or information.
Public Education Committee Chair Robert Connolly's blog on Archaeology, Museums, and Outreach offers us interesting stories and insightful perspectives. Always worth a read. Start with An Archaeological Surprise in Ninva, Peru, to get ideas about using artifacts for teaching and community collaboration. But don't stop there.
Florida Public Archaeology Network's blog, Going Public. The Dirt on Public Archaeology, is loaded with fun and interesting information, some serious, some not so serious, such as Sarah Miller's Holiday Shell Edged Manicure Tutorial, using holiday nail colors to teach about historic ceramics!
iowaarchaeology uses Instagram to educate and, sometimes, to have fun at the same time!
And sometimes, iowaarchaeology uses Instagram as an advocacy tool.

Spotlight: Instagram 

Here's another social media that some of us love and others never use. If you are an Instagramer, stop reading here and skip to the next paragraph. Using Google's great definition, Instagram "is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr."
Iowaarchaeology uses Instagram to share artifact and project photos, to advertize events, and for advocacy, among other purposes.
The British Museum uses Instagram like an on-line museum, posting photographs of objects, often extraordinary ones such as this unique, 2000 year old, Iron Age helmet, providing detailed descriptions and public comments. This is a perfect use of Instagram and since it's a free service, more organizations should use it to showcase some of the billions of items in inaccessible storage.

Spotlight: Twitter 

If you use Twitter, stop reading here and go right to the next paragraph. For those of you who have not yet registered for or used Twitter, it's very similar to telegrams of old, but with a MUCH BIGGER audience. Organizations and individuals can send - - or receive  - - 140 character messages, called "tweets."  Organizations and individuals use it to send information out to their "followers" as little sound bites. It's a useful social media tool to inform your network, community, friends, and the world about breaking (or old) news, events and programs, opinions, issues, and anything else people want to "tweet" about.  Like any social media, people can like it, share it, comment on it, save it, forget about it, and do other inter-active things with it.  

Archaeology (@archaeologymag) magazine, published by the Archaeological Institute of America, tweets out 140 character blasts on interesting archaeology stories from various news sources several times daily. It serves as a great source of content for your Facebook page (either professional or personal) if you are happy to post links to geographically and topically wide-ranging archaeology articles.   

OpenAccessArch (@OpenAccessArch) just announced the "Blogging Archaeology Blog Carnival." It's worth checking out since the focus is "What are the Grand Challenges Facing YOUR Archaeology?" A great question! If you start following @OpenAccessArch on Tumblr, or Doug's Archaeology blog, you can follow this interesting challenge. 

Iowa Archaeology (@iowaarchaeology), administered by the Archaeology Research Center at the University of Iowa, offers great ideas for how to use Twitter to showcase artifacts, news stories, events, and anything else archaeologically important to Iowa. Of course, its reach is far greater since archaeologists in Alaska or Italy can follow Iowa's tweets. The administrator of @iowaarchaeology (Elizabeth Reetz) maximizes the eyes who might see her posts by using "hashtags." Thus, a recent tweet in @iowaarchaeology includes two hashtags, #Iowa and #archaeology. The hashtags create keywords linking a particular post to other tweets with identical keywords.

Spotlight: Tumblr

If you use Tumblr, stop reading here and skip ahead. If not, keep reading to see how Tumblr can become one more tool in your arsenal for sharing information and keeping up with your network and other constituents. As the Tumblr folks say, "Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be."  We like to think of it as a mini-blog (although some posts are full blog length) where you can use a free hosting website to share information, news stories, ideas, issues, photographs, videos, and more. Like blogs, you can "archive" your postings by date and create a rich resource for new visitors to your Tumblr feed.
Iowaarchaeology nicely illustrates how the University of Iowa Office of State Archaeologist uses Tumblr as both an informational and advocacy tool for their network and local audience (although people from across the globe follow them).
Archaeologicalnews tracks interesting archaeology news stories from across the globe and is a good source of information to expand your archaeological horizons.    
Like Twitter, Tumblr posts use keyword hashtags (#) to link a particular post to other tweets with identical keywords. 

General Comment About Social Media

An important feature of the various social media above is that they are all intertwined. From one you can instantly post to another to maximize your message. You can shoot out postings, tweets, photos, and messages during an event or in between meetings. While some may see social media as a huge waste of time, many of us use social media as a very powerful education and community-outreach tool. Don't be afraid to get out there and use these tools! Perhaps your organization won't let you use social media as part of your work. First, ask, "why not?" and see if you can accommodate management's or IT's concerns. Show them some of the great examples in these Notes. If all else fails, register on these sites as yourself and create your own personal profile. Then go ahead and do your archaeology postings when you get home at night or on weekends under your own name. Let us know if you are having issues and we can brainstorm ideas with you!

Contact us:

We are just getting started and need your HELP!
All contributions for future issues welcome. Be patient with us as we build and fine-tune this important initiative.

Please contact Notes Editor Giovanna Peebles with contributions, comments, and questions:
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